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Camp Sparkle Offers A Bright Spot For Kids

Gilda's Club logo

Into its second week, a West Michigan day camp continues to brighten the days of young people dealing with some difficult issues.  Gilda’s Club Camp Sparkle shines light for area youth.

“So it’s really an honor to be able to offer a camp we call Camp Sparkle for our youth.”

That’s Lindsay Jousma, Gilda’s Club Director of Program Operations.  They’re once again hosting young people at Camp Sparkle... a bright spot for those dealing with some difficult issues like cancer or grief.

“So that means that they either have cancer themselves, or they know someone living with cancer or they know someone who has died from any cause of death.”

Jousma says Camp Sparkle offers those that come a unique opportunity.

“It’s coming together with other peers who get it. They know what it likes to be living with cancer or living with grief.  Some of the kids might be going through the same challenges. It’s an opportunity to not feel so alone.”

The free camp offers visits from a variety of local fun spots, like John Ball Zoo, the YMCA, Blanford Nature Center and the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.  And through the programs and comradery, Jousma says the camp can provide needed opportunities.

It is instrumental. To have the opportunity to come together and have a sense of community with others who understand what it’s like. It’s an essential ingredient to not feel so alone. And Camp Sparkle is a good way to integrate that element into the program.”

Camp Sparkle runs through July 24th.  It wraps up with family day and she says the various activities offer support for the children from kindergarten to sixth grade.